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Quote1 Sooner or later, they will meet the twins. It's not a world of spies anymore Not even a world of heroes. This is the age of miracles, Doctor... And there's nothing more horrifying... Than a miracle. Quote2
-- Baron Strucker

Appearing in the 1st StoryEdit

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Synopsis for the 1st StoryEdit

At the S.H.I.E.L.D. S.T.A.T.I.O.N., Research & Development Technicians Mark Smith and Nicholas Cooper review footage of the Avengers fighting in the Battle of New York while conducting experiments on Loki's Sceptre, which was recovered after Black Widow used it to deactivate the Tesseract. Smith laments his transfer to R&D, blaming Commander Maria Hill for deeming him "unfit for assignment" and assuring Cooper that, given the opportunity, he intends to make Hill "regret ever calling [him] 'unfit'." A security guard overhears the conversation.

"Later that day," Smith works out in the S.T.A.T.I.O.N.'s gym as the security guard slips a note reading "Hangar SFC-5" into his bag. Smith heads to the hangar, where he encounters the guard and another man, Baron Strucker, who assures Smith that the two "share a like purpose." Strucker offers Smith the chance to work with him "in another side of the organization" on the condition that Smith demonstrate "where [his] true loyalties lie." Later, in the cafeteria, Cooper has a breakthrough regarding the connection between the Sceptre and the Tesseract, but he is shot and killed moments later by Smith, who thereby allies himself with Strucker.

"Later," Smith and Agent Mark Basso transport the Sceptre to a Hydra base in Sokovia, where they are greeted by Strucker at his fortress. They turn the Sceptre over to Doctor List, who takes the item to his laboratory where he uses the energy of the gem it contains to power a dozen Chitauri rifles also recovered from the Battle of New York. Hydra technicians test the weapons on inanimate targets, but Strucker orders List to proceed to testing on "living human subjects," suggesting that List choose from the Sokovian protesters outside the fortress.

Outside, List asks for volunteers from among the protesters, promising to grant them the ability to "stand up to [their] oppressors." "Later," in his laboratory, List considers the number of protesters who volunteered for his experiments, and considers the unique opportunity of testing the Sceptre's effects on the twin subjects Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. Outside, Basso assures Smith that human trials won't be a problem "once Project: Insight launches," at which point Hydra won't "be working underground" any longer.

Some time later, during the launch of Project: Insight and the ensuing Battle of the Triskelion, Captain America fights against the Winter Soldier, Sam Wilson fights Brock Rumlow, and Natalia Romanoff fights off Hydra agents prior to the crash of Helicarrier Charlie. After the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D., List informs Strucker that Director Nick Fury "has released everything to the public," but Strucker dismisses the setback, calling S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra "two sides of a coin that's no longer currency."

Strucker marvels at what List has accomplished with the Sceptre, and muses that "it's not a world of spies anymore. Not even a world of heroes," but rather "the age of miracles. And there's nothing more horrifying," he assures the Doctor, "than a miracle."

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Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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